HarperCollins graduate scheme re-opens

HarperCollins graduate scheme re-opens

HarperCollins has reopened its graduate programme for 2015, with applicants now asked to make an application online with a home-made video interview.

During the video, applicants will have to describe the best designed product they can think of, and explain how they would persuade a self-published author to sign with HarperCollins.

The graduate scheme offers trainees a paid 18-month placement at HarperCollins, taking in different aspects of the business, including editorial, marketing, sales and digital. It has run for more than 20 years, with each trainee on the programme given a senior member of the business as a mentor to offer advice during the process.

John Athanasiou, director of people, said: "The scheme is totally central to our strategy. It's been important for several years, and is only becoming more important with everyone competing for talent. We're not just competing with other publishers and media groups, we want to bring in talent that might be going to banking or consultancy. We want to bring the best people in, and then keep them. If you want the best new technology, you go and invest in it, and it's the same with people."

He added: "The thing I would say is most important in candidates is emotional intelligence, especially in a digital era where so much is about collaboration and working together with different partners. It's not about having an English degree from a good university, we want a diverse range of skills and aptitudes."

Between two and four graduates are typically taken on by the scheme, though several more are usually recruited into junior roles at the publisher.

Current HarperCollins employees who have come through the scheme include Fourth Estate's marketing manager Tara Al Azzawi and children's publishing director Nick Lake.

Lake said: "I joined the HarperCollins graduate scheme in 2003, and on completing it in 2005 I joined the children's fiction team as an assistant editor. I'm now publishing director for children's fiction, specialising in middle grade and YA. For me, the scheme was invaluable. As someone who wasn't sure which area of publishing I ultimately wanted to work in, it gave me the opportunity to spend time in almost every part of the business, gaining skills and knowledge along the way."

Last month, Penguin Random House launched a new recruitment project called The Scheme, using Tumblr to find new marketers, who will have to answer a series of specific questions and submit a video of themselves to be considered.

Candidates for the HarperCollins graduate scheme can submit a CV and a video from today (7th April). Shortlisted candidates will then be interviewed, with successful graduates joining the business in October.